Frugal Accomplishments ~ Week(s) Ending 15 July 2018

Hello, hello! It’s been a while, hasn’t it? I’ve had some time away due to the children’s schedules and focusing on some offline projects, so I haven’t given much priority to Ye Olde Blogge. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I have been making sure to read Brandy’s Frugal Accomplishments posts each week, and the comments on them – I sure do love seeing that post appear on my feed each week! I’m finally ready to do up a bit of a post myself again; I’m sure I’ve forgotten some things, but perhaps not. Maybe it’s just a matter of not doing much other than what was right in front of me the past few weeks. My daughter was away for a month for visitation and my husband was away for a training for several weeks, so my son and I just went about our days and let things lie, nice and quiet. There’s a lot to be said for staying home and reading a book when it comes to frugal living!

Alrighty then – here’s my list of frugal things we did do over the past – wow, a month and change!

  • Used blinds/curtains/fans for cooling to try to run the AC less. It did still kick on in the evenings, but based on the utility rebate we have coming, it ran way less than the neighborhood average.
  • Speaking of our utility rebate, we received a $30 rebate for April/May, which was applied to the car note on principal (more on that below). This week I received a statement that we are owed a $40 rebate just for the month of June, which we should receive at the beginning of August. That, too, will be watched for and put toward the car!
  • We made additional principal payments on the car each payday.
  • Monsoon season began, giving us cooler temperatures in the late afternoons/evenings (relatively speaking). I was able to open the living room windows up to let in some breezes, but we have to be careful that we don’t let it get too muggy as the AC will turn on!
  • Used drying racks when possible, and I created a laundry schedule to keep washer use more efficient.
  • My son spotted the Catan board game at a local gaming store; that was purchased as a birthday gift and led to several nights of fun between us and also some games with my husband.
  • Borrowed e-books on Kindle Unlimited and from the libraries on Overdrive.
  • Borrowed print books, magazines, and DVDs from the libraries.
  • Husband watched TV shows on Amazon Prime Video.
  • I used cloth personal wipes and handkerchiefs.
  • Received discount subscription offers from three magazines I used to enjoy; resubscribed to those publications. Each magazine will be read by me, then passed on to friends and family, so we get at least triple the use per issue.
  • Went to a local park and the bowling alley (using Kids Bowl Free app) with friends.
  • My son received Amazon gift cards from two family members for his birthday; he used part of one to purchase a space engineering game he has wanted.
  • Son and husband used library internet to download the game as our home internet was in “overage” speed and wouldn’t download it properly. (To whit: at the library it downloaded in 3 minutes. Oy. So much for “unlimited” gigabytes….)
  • My son was attending two weeks of STEM camp at a local college; my daughter needed to study for, and take, two of her GED tests. We all rode together and while the kids were in camp/studying/testing, I took advantage of the free air conditioning and worked on my book and read others’ books in the student union. (We did support the school by making some snack and drink purchases some days, in addition to what we paid for their tuition/fees.)
  • Even a savings there: because my daughter scheduled her tests while at her father’s, he was willing to use his card to pay for those two tests. (The student must prepay when choosing their test time/date.) I paid for the first one, and will pay for the last two, but I’m grateful to not have to pay for all five tests. And yes, she passed! ๐Ÿ˜€ She has now passed Civics, Reading/Language Arts, and Social Studies; just Math and Science to go and she’s done.
  • AND one of the books I read while over there was a free Advance Review Copy of an upcoming release by a favorite author!
  • Used Kroger fuel points to purchase diesel at $1 off per gallon each time I filled up.
  • Saw a small Goal Zero generator on sale from Lehman’s – husband and I had discussed purchasing one and then selling our dual-fuel generator. This is smaller than our dual-fuel, but large enough to power things like a CPAP (we have a relative with one), mini fridge, the laptops, and the like. I shopped around further and ended up finding the same Goal Zero model for $20 less at Home Depot, with free shipping. We did pay tax, but it still left room to purchase an extended warranty and come in less than it would have been at the original company with shipping.
  • I’ve since used the GZ to charge small devices – it is similar to our old Black & Decker Storm Station, and is supposed to be kept plugged in for wall charging if you aren’t using the solar panels (which I need to save up for). Might as well use up the charge and test it out, right? So far I’ve charged my phone multiple times, as well as my Kindle, and the charge bar hasn’t dropped yet. I’m impressed, frankly. Next I’m going to test it with charging my laptop!
  • Attended a Friends of the Library half price sale. My son found two aerospace magazines and a book for only $0.50 total. My husband and I bought seven books (two of which were brand new, with cover prices of $19.95) and a magazine for $3.88!
  • Most of my grocery shopping at the end of June was at our local food co-op and the farmers market. I purchased two salves from a market vendor and she took several dollars off the total. At the co-op, I used our 5% member discount (can be used once a month). Several of my co-op purchases were bulk bin items, including five pounds of brown rice, which will last us several months.
  • We had to purchase a few items at the commissary on the EOM June trip; I submitted my receipt to Checkout51 and Ibotta and received a few rebates.
  • Requested my first check from Checkout51 ($28) – we received it this week, deposited it, and combined it with the aforementioned utility rebate and the ATM fee rebate from our bank to make a $115 principal payment on the car note.
  • We took my son to Legoland Phoenix for his birthday. I purchased discounted tickets online (homeschool rate); we packed food and drinks in a cooler for the drive; took advantage of the $5 upgrade tickets to attend the aquarium next door; and combined the trip to visit a family friend afterward. We did have a minor expense of some drinks and snacks due to pulling off for a freeway closure due to a large dust storm. The snacks were an add-on simply because they were buy one, get one free – we were happy to take advantage of that deal while we waited to get back on the road!
  • I enrolled in the NRA’s Refuse to Be a Victim instructor course; the tuition was paid with a card we receive store points for and gets paid off the next paycheck. (We make all large-ish purchases this way to get points for other big purchases at that store.)
  • My daughter house and pet sat for two neighbors, earning $80 toward her CNA schooling/move out fund.
  • We attended a Harry Potter-themed birthday party for one of my son’s friends. He was delighted to come home with some fun party favors, and two are school supplies: a new “quill” (pencil with a feather on top) and a “spell book” (a lined journal). The party was in the early evening and they served finger foods, sliced fruit, and hamburgers in lieu of a big cake.
  • Our local bookshop proprietor was able to find two of the science books for my son’s 2018-19 curriculum at used book prices; one of them she could only get new, but she gave me a 10% homeschool discount on that one. She also ordered an entire United States history series for us at used prices, which sets him up for the following two school years!
  • My son found a series of books at Walmart called Big Fat Notebook middle school study guides. Since we already have our math curriculum through Algebra 2 (handed down from my daughter), as well as US and world history, we didn’t need most of them, but he did grab the English Language Arts book. At $12 it will tide him over the next year or two, until we move into my old college textbooks for his English work.
  • Registered my daughter for an upcoming teen skills expo with free admission.
  • Our bills are autopay or paid online, saving stamps.
  • We received our ARRL (ham radio) magazines for June and July, which are included in the membership price paid to ARRL several months ago.
  • My husband was presented with a free pizza card from the manager of a local pizza place due to our order being lost in the shuffle of busy Friday night dinnertime. He wasn’t concerned about the wait, but they wanted to make it right. Patience and professionalism – and great customer service – are sure virtues!
  • Shopped at Target for our mid-July grocery shop – using Cartwheel, sales, coupons, and gift card offers, we saved $50.01 and received $15 in Target gift cards. I submitted my receipt to Checkout51 and earned $1.75 in rebates and an entry in the $500 grocery drawing. (Wouldn’t that be handy?!?!)
  • Entered Swagbucks and InboxDollars codes as I found them; answered daily Swagbucks surveys.
  • Ordered a supplement from Amazon via Ibotta and received $0.50 rebate.
  • Did NOT shop during Amazon Prime Day. ๐Ÿ˜‰

4 thoughts on “Frugal Accomplishments ~ Week(s) Ending 15 July 2018

    • It was wonderful seeing you! The boy tells everyone about the sign you gave him. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Hope all is going well up there and the updates you gave us are falling into place. <3

    • Thank you, Elizabeth – I love to read other’s ideas too. I find a lot of inspiration and encouragement on everyone’s lists. That and, as my mom would say, I’m just nosey. LOL!!! Thanks for popping by and taking the time to comment!

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